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2018 Audi R8

Wow. Is wow enough for a blog post.  Because that’s really it.  Wow.

the R8 is a bit of a dreamer car for most of us.  Most dealerships might have one in the showroom, and it’s not like we can walk in, kick the tires and say, “can we take it for a ride?”.  It would be nice if they were as accessible as a Corolla, but then the R8 wouldn’t be special, would it?

The RS line of Audi does have similar trim accents inside.  A racing steering wheel with the start button right on the wheel.  There is no big navigation screen like you see in most cars today.  Everything is right on the dash board, and it’s all digital.  This allows simple use of features like the radio, nav, climate and everything with sleek knobs and buttons.  I think this, it seems way more efficient.

When I drove the R8, I went through a construction zone, and everyone working stopped.  The “WOOOOOOOW” in slow motion, it seems as one fella elbows his buddy to take a look.  Get ready to make an impression; in the R8 it’s all eyes on you.

I like big butts and I cannot lie… it’s true.  The wide back end on the Audi R8, to me, is the nicest backside on a car ever.  It’s tough, strong, and confident.  The R8 is really the only “race car” looking supercar available.  Probably only in that street car category with a MacLaren, the R8 looks like you should probably be on the track instead.  And it drives that way.  For a guy who speaks for a living, I really am at a loss for words on the R8.  It’s not a car.  It’s a feeling.  And it’s a feeling that you need to experience.

Here’s what an R8 feels like.  It feels successful.  It feels like, “I’m a kickass successful money making ninja, that earned $350K extra this month so I gave $100,000 to charity on my way to buy myself this car to play in”.  It feels like “I’m a badass manly man and should probably be on my way to an Old Spice commercial to star in it”.  It feels like, “I’m so successful I’m just going wear a t-shirt and a hoodie in my amazing R8 and run to the store for milk.  Then I’m going home to build something out of wood before I go golfing”.

I’m not sure what a woman would feel like in this car, but I imagine it also being something like that too.  Maybe you can tell me how that feels.

Regardless, the lesson here is simple.  1 – never turn down a chance to drive an R8.  2 – go kick some ass, be generous, kind and successful.  3 – share your car with others and take them for rides.  Especially in slow motion through construction zones.

Thank you to Audi Royal Oak and the Audi Canada Sport Tour

2018 Audi S4

The 2018 Audi S8, is a real dream.  I’ve admittedly had a love affair with the a4 since about 1999… and I have to say, the S4 is just way more car.

When you decide to purchase a car, it’s a big decision.  It balanced between need and want.  We need to get around, we need function and efficiency.  But what do you want.  I can tell you, the Audi S4 gives you all of the things you need, the things you’ve always wanted, and a few things that you didn’t even know you wanted.

The exterior is extremely sporty with large wheels and low profile rubber.  The overall stance of the s4 is a little lower than the A4, so it ride a little “cooler” than it’s cousin.  The v6 turbo motor is a huge upgrade, and the shifting is so smooth and fun to drive, I didn’t even use the paddle shifters once.  I didn’t need to.  The boost of the turbo is particularly neck bending, and can make this a fast driver, very easily.

Inside the car, the heads up speed display is very helpful with the speed of the car.  In fact, it’s particularly helpful keeping the speed at bay, as it combines the navigation data to advise you when there is a speed limit change.  Having your speed and alerts projected on to the windshield is extremely helpful.  Massage seats are standard on the S4 now, and that just feels great to drive with a good massage of your lower back.  The Audi MMI continues to be a leader with large knobs that make all auto and media functions extremely easy to operate.

I’ve shared on my blog many times, that I’m a Dad.  Cars for me need to be fun to drive, as I can put on as much as 1000km a week (my kids are busy!).  I need to go to business meetings in a suit and be a professional, but I still need to fit hockey gear, golf clubs, scooters and all sorts of miscellaneous “kid things” in the trunk.  The S4 takes “sedan” and makes it become an amazing driving experience, while it still gives you all the function and creature comforts you’ve dreamed of.

Thank you to Audi Royal Oak for the test drive!

2017 Maserati Granturismo

It’s not often that we get to look backwards and forwards at a car, at the same time.  There are many car makers that have a rich history, and some founded on turmoil.  I love the story about Masterati for a few reasons.  It’s like a family.  A new generation of car that looks forward to a new generation, but it’s steeped deep in a long lineage of masterpiece automobiles and design.  And this champion itself is a long running stud, with 7 years of virtually unchanged production.

Why didn’t it change?  It didn’t need to.

I’ve wanted to drive one for 5 years now.  I finally have the chance to share my excitement about this car.  Masterati, to me, is one of the most exciting car makers.  It is growing.  And it is growing fast.  It’s exciting because it’s growing outside of convention, when it comes to it’s driver.

You see, Maserati is a man’s car.  It’s also a woman’s car.  Older gentlemen, younger women.  Classy professional women, and young men.  I must admit I do know a couple of people who drive (honestly, they live for) Maserati.  It’s like it’s the car with no boundaries.  One friend is a yoga instructor and spiritual coach.  Another is a finance executive.  You see, Maserati is just that good.

The Granturismo is special.

7 years now (I might be off by 1 year when I write this, but you know I’m not a mechanic), the Granturismo has hardly been changed.  It has, of course, been updated and it has kept up with technology over the last 7 years.  But fundamentally, the Granturismo hasn’t need to change.  Suspension, power plant and all of it’s guts are just that good.

It’s a special car, that needs to be experienced.  Extremely well balanced weight pushes the car through tight turns as well as it does along straight highway.  Luxurious interior gives you both luxury, quality and a sporty fresh feel.  It’s not old, but it’s still familiar.  I’m not a mechanic.  I won’t quote you horsepower and ratio.  But I will tell you that the exhaust is exhilarating.  Oh dear, that sound.  Deep throaty tough car, in a graceful and light package.  Set it to purr quietly, or open it up and set off car alarms.  You haven’t driven, until you’ve hear this car.  It’s the rebel part, of this family.

And my favorite part, it’s a Ferrari engine.

Yup.  Most people don’t know that. This is the family part.  Look down the long line of Ferrari lineage, and you see the future of these automobiles.  It’s like the golden grand-child of the family.  Set to take the best parts of the family history, and blaze a new and innovative path into a whole new generation.

Now picture yourself in one.

It’s with great pleasure that I share this car, with the opportunity to not online drive one, but own one.

Full House Lottery (website below) is offering up the early bird prize of a 2017 Maserati GranTurismo +  a downtown condo.  The car itself, as noted for this prize, is valued over $200,000.  Total prize is $656,873.

Do yourself a favor and win this car.  So you can do a few things, a big one is to drive it.  Another big one is to share it and drive around your friends in it.  And not only that, you get to help out others with the Full House Lottery.

After all, it’s all about family, isn’t it?

BUY TICKETS HERE: https://www.fullhouse.ca/checkout/tickets/

Learn more about the Early Bird Prize (2017 Lottery) Here: https://www.fullhouse.ca/earlybird/

Learn more about the Full House Lottery here: https://www.fullhouse.ca

Learn more about the Maserati GranTurismo here: http://www.maserati.ca/maserati/ca/en/models/granturismo

Thank you to Maserati of Alberta, visit them here: http://maseratiofalberta.com/main.php

Some quick notes about the FULL HOUSE Lottery.  It’s not just an Edmonton thing, it’s an Alberta thing.

  • This is the 24th year of Full House Lottery
  • Full House Lottery raises money to support the Royal Alexandra HospitalFoundation and University Hospital Foundation
  • In the previous 23 years, Full House Lottery has raised over $73 million towards the growing needs of Albertans in critical areas such as cardiac MRI technology, brain care, robotic surgery, neonatal intensive care, cardiac care, organ transplantations and advanced medical research
  • This year, proceeds from Full House Lottery ticket sales will support a PET Scanner at the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation and the Stroke Ambulance at the University Hospital Foundation

Early Bird Deadline is May 7, 2017.  Final Deadline is June 8 2017.

Full House Early Bird Condo

2016 Audi A3 E-Tron

Now THIS is my kind of car!

As I reflect on this test drive, and how EXCITED I was to drive this car, it has since made me think about how our needs change so much over time.  It’s so true, isn’t it?  One time when you’re car shopping, you need space and maybe more size.  Then all of a sudden, a couple of years later, you’re looking for small and fuel efficient.  The one thing we just can’t do when we buy cars, is predict how life may dictate change in the future.  Life is cool that way.

About being excited in this car… when I drove it for the first time and arrived at my office, I texted Monica (my colleague at Audi Royal Oak) and immediately said “I WANT ONE”.  It’s so true.  That’s how car shopping should feel.  Your car needs to feel not only like an extension of your personality, but an effective tool in your life.  I’m not sure if there is any worse feeling than looking at a car that you “kinda” like, and it just doesn’t suit you or your needs in a day.  That’s an expensive mistake.

Shopping at Audi Royal Oak is always exciting for me.  I must confess, I’ve always had a love affair with a few car brands, and Audi is tops on that list.  So I do get excited.  But when I drove the A3 E-tron, I was over-the-moon-pee-my-pants excited.

The Audi A3 E-tron, is much like the normal A3 for size and styling.  I’ve already been drawn to the A3 in general, as my life needs a hatch, room for 2 kids and a hockey/golf bag.  With the split seats in the back, I get all of that.  A3 really has some snap to it, so while it’s fuel efficiency is very good, it is still a performance based car.  So if you drive it hard, you will burn fuel.

Insert the E-tron into my life…

The E-tron is all things electric.  It’s a gas engine, and can run on gasoline.  It’s hybrid like most cars with a combo electric/gas power plants working together to improve fuel efficiency.  But it’s also solo electric.  About 35 KM on a charge (2.5 full charge), which really translates into 25-30 KM once your start to accelerate up to 100KM/h on the freeway.  I found the best combination was CHARGE mode (gas) for the highway, and ELECTRIC for scooting around the city.  It’s as easy to switch as a push of a button, and you don’t even feel a change.  It’s seamless.

Now I have all the great A3 features… size, luxury, sport, fun, styling and Audi-esque-awesomeness.  Except, now I have an extension cord.  I have heard stories of some E-tron owners pushing 2000 KM’s on a tank of fuel.  This comes with regular recharging of course, but depending on how and where you drive, the benefits of the A3 E-tron can truly change your life.  The best part is it’s priced right in the heart of cars in it’s class, and it’s not some astronomical price like many electrics out there.

The chance to save on fuel, be responsible with the move to electric, and still have my needs of being a Dad and business-person met in a luxurious car?  Yes please!  Sign me up.

Please take the Audi A3 E-tron for a drive.  If you’re considering ANY small car, whether it’s gas hybrid or electric.  It’s worth it.

Thank you to Audi Royal Oak for the test drive and support


2016 Audi Q3

Sometimes you dream of a “life” car… a car that you wait for to purchase.  It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, and you keep it for life.  That’s how we often thing of car buying.

And sometimes, your life just needs a better car.  This is what the Q3 is.

I’ve driven quite a few vehicles in my life.  Every now that then, something clicks.  THIS ONE.  This is how I felt when I climbed into the Q3.  THIS ONE.  Being able to manage the amount of driving I do in a year (50000 KM+) and have a vehicle I can enjoy it in, is not an easy task.  I have a truck, it does truck things.  I like this car. This is the one.

Drive Calgary to EdmontonMy children and I took the Audi Q3 to Edmonton from Calgary, which is about 300km each way, for a hockey tournament weekend.  I was truly concerned in the beginning that my stuff just wouldn’t fit into this little car.  But it did, very easily.  We did fold down one seat in the back for the extra space, but as a 3-human family it worked perfectly.  Hockey bag, large DJ speaker (music for the dressing room, don’t ya know), travel bags and a large cooler for healthy hockey food.  I wish I could say more, but it was a fantastic trip!

Small car, easy to drive with great sight lines.  I drove it way too fast… which could be problematic when you weave in and out of traffic in the city or on the highway.  I mean, it’s a little car and it zips.  Cruise control helped that one.  Massive Pano sun roof is nice, although it was a rainy weekend when we had the Q3 so we didn’t get to use it.

Some cars you can tell stories on, and some you just say “I’d love to own this car”.  This is the latter of the two.

Thanks to Audi Royal Oak Calgary for the test drive!  Visit them here www.royaloakaudi.com

2017 Audi A4

Before you read this, I have to confess, I have long desired the Audi A4. And I think back to about 15 years ago and this car was so impressive even in it’s infancy.

Fast forward to 2016, and the newly released 2017 Audi A4.  The technology sure has changed.  I’m guessing that the original A4’s still came with a cassette deck, which could come in handy for your old Def Leppard tape… but it’s way more convenient with the Apple Play and connecting your iPhone.

mediagallery_images__22Luxury and Performance have always been a battle.  I imaging the engine guy’s arguing over the board room table with the interior guys in design lab.  More power!  No! More Luxury!  The good news for you and I is that the balance is achieved so well in the A4, and the 2017 takes it to the next level again.  With 3 different trim lines in Komfort, Progressiv, and Technik (learn more HERE), you truly get to choose your A4.  These 3 trim lines allows more buyers into the Audi family too, with a wide contrast in available features and pricing.

That’s all fancy car-geek stuff, but we need to get down to the nuts and bolts here.  Cool factor.  Sedan’s can be cool.  Yes, I totally get it, you’d prefer the R8, but you have 2 kids.  And having to decide between your 2 kids and which one get’s to go to school today, probably doesn’t win you any parent awards.  Insert the A4 here.  Business class fancy, with real life ability.  That’s how I describe this car.

mediagallery_images__12It’s comfortable, and more comfortable than a boardroom chair.  For managers and business owners, the mobile office has finally reached a new level with easy connect technology, quiet cabin and extremely aerodynamic lines to keep noise down.  Yes, you can bluetooth a meeting without being “that guy” who has to be muted because you’re travelling down the highway.

My opinion is simple on the A4.  Quattro drive for Canada’s winters, amazing luxury and comfort, seat-glueing performance, plus real life space (hockey bags, golf clubs… boxes of wine for liqour store specials) make the A4 a sure winner again for 2017.

If you haven’t driven an A4 in a couple of years, try this one out. I hadn’t driven one for the same time, and the wow-factor of this car is very strong.

Thank you to Royal Oak Audi for the test drive.

Mercedes-Benz GLK Bluetec 2013


2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK BlueTec

2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK BlueTec

Mercedes-Benz GLK has finally added in the Bluetec option for this compact SUV.  I personal have always loved it for the boxy lines of the SUV, but when you add in BlueTec (diesel) engine, now you REALLY have my attention.

I often feel that the meaning of what could be, or should be diesel in today’s world is often forgotten.  Cleaner burning, good economy and reasonable consistent pricing at the pump are just a few of the best features.  Add on top luxury and Mercedes-Benz styling and you really have a winner here!

By far the best small SUV I’ve driven in awhile, we put the GLK through it’s paces will almost 1,000 KM of driving time and gave it a good dose of “Dad-life”.  Thanks to Lonestar Mercedes-Benz Calgary for the test drive!  Merc GLK must be on your consideration list for a small SUV.


2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK BlueTec

2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK BlueTec

2013 Toyota Tacoma

FUN!  Period.  End of blog.

Seriously, that’s all I want to say.  Ok, for the sake of trying to explain that at least a LITTLE bit, let’s elaborate.

My history as an owner of 2 other small trucks in my lifetime has told me that in most cases, little trucks just can’t do much.  That opinion certainly has changed.  Don’t get me wrong, they’re not strong enough to pull massive trailers or to move your friends belongings to their new house (that in itself is a great reason to own one!).  Gone are the days that you can buy a REAL 4×4 in a small SUV platform.  The all wheel drive large car has taken over that world.

2013 Toyota Tacoma Interior

2013 Toyota Tacoma Interior

I found it extremely refreshing to drive a small 4×4, that felt like a real 4×4.  It pulls small RV trailers, quads, boats, whatever… but the best part of the new Tacoma is the suspension.  It feels aggressive.  It feels powerful.  It bounces around like a 4×4 should, but without that big bounce of the big trucks.  In my case, my trailer is TOOOOOO big to be an option for me.  But I have to say, it was very impressive and fun to drive.  In my opinion, white is the best color of this truck.  Maybe with a roll’n’l0ck cover on the back.  I wouldn’t say jack it up, but big rims could look really great too if you like to trick out your truck.

The interior is typical Toyota styling.  Backup camera in the rear view mirror is handy, and the navi and radio are top notch for tech-geek.  I find it hard to find anything to be critical about for the Tacoma.  Maybe the instrument cluster could be updated… Toyota is overdue for a new set of dials on the dash.  I’d say this likely comes with the new Tundra in 2014… I’ll cross my fingers.

Thanks to Country Hills Toyota Scion for the test drive!


2013 Toyota Tacoma Exterior

2013 Toyota Tacoma Exterior

2013 Land Rover LR4

There are many great cars available to today’s consumer… but it’s quite possible this SUV can be called Calgary’s Perfect Car.

Once you drive it, you’ll get it.  The LR4 from Land Rover Calgary offers everything you need for a Calgary winter and snow.  Play in the mountains with no stress.  Roll up to valet parking with pride.  Tow your boat in the summer, and use the lowering suspension to fit it into your parkade.

If you’re like me, you have per-conceived ideas about what a Land Rover really is.  Turns out I can proudly say I was very wrong.  I always thought it was a real off-road non-comfortable car that tried to pass itself off as a luxury car.  This notion is VERY wrong.  While it still is perfect for the “outdoorsy” people, you don’t have to be a hippy to enjoy this car.  Luxury is the name of the game.  And I mean luxury… here are some of the highlights I enjoyed.

  • heated steering wheel
  • auto dimming bright headlights
  • 3 moon roofs
  • heated windshield (it’s way less work that the fan defrost!)
  • raise and lower suspension

I was lucky for my use of the LR4, I squeezed in a DJ show in Banff… and interview with singer K-OS, sunny day highway 2 driving and then hockey games and loading it with gear.  Simple fact is, Mommy doesn’t need to drive a mini-van anymore.  Now she can do it in style, and 4wd safety… and maybe once in awhile not feel so much like a Mommy while out with her friends for an evening.  Nice work Land Rover… very nice work.

The finer details:
Make – Land Rover
Model – LR4
Year – 2013
Trim – tbc
MSRP – $tbc
Test drive info – approx 600km, highway drive, 3 days.

Thanks to Land Rover Calgary for the test drive!

2013 Land Rover Calgary LR4

Filled it with DJ Gear… and it doesn’t even look full!

2013 Land Rover Calgary LR4

Looks like a great day to head to the Rocky Mountains!





2012 BMW X1

This is Calgary’s Car… or SUV.. or wagon.. or whatever it is.

Seriously, I think this should officially be Calgary’s car.  It’s fancy, but still kinda blue collar.  It’s classy but still a little fun to get dirty.  It likes the snow and the mountains, and can probably go a little too fast at times.  And, it’s definitely nicer than others in it’s class.

See, people in Calgary have access to jobs, we suffer from unpredictable weather and typically  although we like to have nice things, we’re still a sucker for a good deal.  One of the best parts of the X1 is the program to purchase behind it.  Over that last few years, BMW has consistantly had great interest rate incentives to buy this car.  Not because it doesn’t sell, it’s because people who drive the X1 like to keep it classy, but need to keep it real financially too.

Take one for a drive, and with the slight adjustments to the body styling of 2012, the front end makes the hood look a little lower and aggressive, and front bumper skirting is more agressive too.  HUGE sunroof and now sporty rims that make it less like a little car, and more like the X5’s littlest brother.  Fun and fast, I actually recommend you don’t go with the NAV in this car.  For me, it’s the traditional BMW console that you get with it.  NAV is nice, but the interior of the X1 still kicks the old school look and function of the radio.  With all the technology in cars today, I really appreciate the simplicity of it.  And it sounds the same, big loud and boomy.  Wicked.  My only negative about the 2012 X1 is that BMW hasn’t replaced that gawd-aweful cruise control function they’ve had over the last few years in it yet.  Maybe next year, as the 3 and 5 series cars all have the new cruise system.

Thanks to the BMW Gallery for the drive!

2012 BMW X1Interior

2012 BMW X1Interior

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